Entertainment Colin, cod brandade, tuna: are the fish on your plates "sustainable"?

09:25  25 february  2021
09:25  25 february  2021 Source:   europe1.fr

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Le magazine © Joenomias / Pixabay The magazine "60 million consumers" looks at the fish on our plates in its new issue which appears this Thursday. In partnership with WWF, the monthly tried to determine the sustainability of flagship products from the sea. Sylvie Metzelard, the editor-in-chief, explains on Europe 1 how to navigate in supermarkets.

Breaded hake, surimi, cod brandade or canned tuna, the French are crazy about them. But not all the seafood that ends up on our plates is created equal. The magazine 60 million consumers , in partnership with WWF , takes stock of the sustainability of 14 brands of each of these highly consumed products. As Sylvie Metzelard, editor-in-chief, explains on Europe 1, this study reveals three categories: "to be favored", "in moderation" and "to be avoided". Enough to guide customers in their choices.

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The sustainability criterion as a new element of analysis

For the first time , the magazine therefore decided to take the sustainability of fish into account. "Catch the good fish: the best choices while respecting the species," he said on Thursday. If this environmental note is not amalgamated with the classic notes of the study of 60 million consumers who analyze the composition of food, in particular heavy metals or salt, it offers new elements of reflection.

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The partnership with WWF has thus made it possible to clarify several information, details Sylvie Metzelard: "Are the fish caught in the right place? the indications on the packaging? And is it done in good conditions? " Information that often does not appear on the boxes of the 56 foods studied because the regulations do not oblige companies to do so. This means that we do not always know where and how the fish were caught.

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Breaded hake caught with bottom trawls

For breaded hake, the fishing zone is easier to determine thanks to an "omnipresence of the MSC label. A label supposed to be granted to fish that have been fished sustainably and on a species specifies, in this case the Alaska pollock, ”explains the editor of 60 million consumers.

In this specific case, this ensures that there are no overfishing problems but the problem is elsewhere. Because the fishing method is not specified and the MSC label does not prohibit the use of "pelagic trawls or bottom trawls, which embark species other than those which are targeted", explains Sylvie Metzelard. This is what justifies a classification "in moderation". However, a label is better than no label, she believes, since it meets, at least, a specification.

Cod whose durability is impossible to determine.

Cod brandades are all classified to be avoided. According to Sylvie Metzelard, it is because on these products, "it is a bit like the big fair of anything". As she explains, out of all the cod brandades studied, only three bear an indication of origin: North-East Atlantic.

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However, according to the journalist, this "zone is so large that it is impossible to assess whether this corresponds to sustainable stocks or not". It also specifies that some products did not contain 100% cod, contrary to what should be. Often, therefore, the information is fragmented.

Tuna of varying quality

There is more information about canned tuna. This makes it easier to determine which brand to favor. The magazine therefore advises to focus on products from the North-East Atlantic, "which houses a stock of tuna in good condition", recalls Sylvie Metzelard. A fortiori because, in this selection, some are caught by line, which is more durable than nets. Conversely, yellowfin tuna should be avoided because it comes from areas of overfishing.

Price is not a determining indicator. As the editor-in-chief of 60 million consumers explains, "on tuna, the one that comes first is a private label and there is a very well-known brand that is ranked very poorly because we have no indication of anything. " A bias assumed to "alert the consumer" to what he puts on his plate.

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